NASCAR Cup Watkins Glen: Larson beats Elliott to win, Raikkonen crashes out

Kyle Larson saw off Hendrick Motorsports team-mate Chase Elliott on the final restart to win the NASCAR Cup Series race at Watkins Glen, as Kimi Raikkonen crashed out.

Elliott led the field on the restart with five of 90 laps remaining, Larson pressuring him alongside, and as the two exited Turn 1 Larson appeared to lock up his brakes and drifted wide, which forced Elliott to take avoiding action and allowed Larson to move into the lead.

Larson then had to hold off a furious challenge from A.J. Allmendinger to take the win by 0.882 seconds.

It’s just the second win of the 2022 season for defending NASCAR Cup champion Larson, his other triumph coming at Fontana back in February. The win is also the 18th of Larson’s NASCAR Cup career.

But there was no fairy-tale debut for 2007 Formula 1 world champion Raikkonen, as the Finn was involved in an accident on lap 45 which dropped him out of the action.

As the pack went through the inner loop on the lap 45 restart, Austin Dillon spun off after contact with Ross Chastain and behind them Raikkonen veered off to the left to avoid contact but smashed into the tyre barrier.

The wreck brought an end to the first career Cup start for Raikkonen, and he was eventually credited with a 37th-place finish.

Fellow former F1 driver Daniil Kvyat also struggled at Watkins Glen, failing to make the finish and classified 36th.

The other high profile European import for the race, 2010 Le Mans 24 Hours winner and 2013 DTM champion Mike Rockenfeller, enjoyed a better time of it by finishing on the lead lap and coming home in 30th place on his NASCAR Cup debut.

Behind the fight for victory, Joey Logano ended up third having also got by Elliott late on, who still clinched the regular season championship at Watkins Glen, with Daniel Suarez completing the top five.

Michael McDowell recorded his best finish since Pocono with sixth place, ahead of playoff contenders Tyler Reddick and Christopher Bell, as Chris Buescher and Erik Jones rounded out the top 10.

NASCAR heads to Daytona for the final regular season race on 27th August before the playoffs begin at Darlington on 4th September.

NASCAR Cup Watkins Glen - Race Results

Cla Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval Laps Led
1 United States Kyle Larson Chevrolet 90 2:17'52.380     5
2 United States A.J. Allmendinger Chevrolet 90 2:17'53.262 0.882 0.882  
3 United States Joey Logano Ford 90 2:17'56.221 3.841 2.959 15
4 United States Chase Elliott Chevrolet 90 2:17'56.636 4.256 0.415 29
5 Mexico Daniel Suarez Chevrolet 90 2:17'58.740 6.360 2.104  
6 United States Michael McDowell Ford 90 2:17'59.553 7.173 0.813 14
7 United States Tyler Reddick Chevrolet 90 2:17'59.959 7.579 0.406 2
8 United States Christopher Bell Toyota 90 2:18'01.203 8.823 1.244  
9 United States Chris Buescher Ford 90 2:18'01.355 8.975 0.152  
10 United States Erik Jones Chevrolet 90 2:18'01.758 9.378 0.403  
11 United States Cole Custer Ford 90 2:18'02.120 9.740 0.362 7
12 United States Kevin Harvick Ford 90 2:18'02.251 9.871 0.131  
13 United States Austin Cindric Ford 90 2:18'03.197 10.817 0.946  
14 United States Alex Bowman Chevrolet 90 2:18'03.362 10.982 0.165  
15 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Chevrolet 90 2:18'04.062 11.682 0.700  
16 United States Ty Dillon Chevrolet 90 2:18'04.531 12.151 0.469  
17 United States Austin Dillon Chevrolet 90 2:18'04.710 12.330 0.179 6
18 United States Justin Haley Chevrolet 90 2:18'04.849 12.469 0.139  
19 United States Brad Keselowski Ford 90 2:18'05.801 13.421 0.952  
20 United States Denny Hamlin Toyota 90 2:18'06.368 13.988 0.567  
21 United States Ross Chastain Chevrolet 90 2:18'06.731 14.351 0.363  
22 United States William Byron Chevrolet 90 2:18'06.750 14.370 0.019  
23 United States Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 90 2:18'07.671 15.291 0.921  
24 United States Ryan Blaney Ford 90 2:18'08.049 15.669 0.378  
25 United States Chase Briscoe Ford 90 2:18'08.360 15.980 0.311 7
26 Ty Gibbs Toyota 90 2:18'08.643 16.263 0.283  
27 United States Corey Lajoie Chevrolet 90 2:18'08.965 16.585 0.322  
28 United States Harrison Burton Ford 90 2:18'09.225 16.845 0.260  
29 United States Aric Almirola Ford 90 2:18'10.449 18.069 1.224  
30 Germany Mike Rockenfeller Chevrolet 90 2:18'10.676 18.296 0.227  
31 United States Joey Hand Ford 90 2:18'11.753 19.373 1.077  
32 United States Kyle Busch Toyota 89 2:18'09.393 1 Lap 1 Lap  
33 Netherlands Loris Hezemans Ford 89 2:18'11.368 1 Lap 1.975  
34 United States Cody Ware Ford 88 2:18'12.107 2 Laps 1 Lap  
35 United States Bubba Wallace Toyota 83 2:08'11.956 7 Laps 5 Laps  
36 Russian Federation Daniil Kvyat Toyota 58 2:18'13.498 32 Laps 25 Laps  
37 Finland Kimi Raikkonen Chevrolet 44 1:09'24.292 46 Laps 14 Laps  
38 United States Todd Gilliland Ford 28 43'02.938 62 Laps 16 Laps 5
39 United Kingdom Kyle Tilley Ford 15 23'17.012 75 Laps 13 Laps  

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